Originally known as the British Columbia Electric Railway which started in 1987, a division of BC Hydro after 1961, BC Transit was created in 1972 as the provincial government nationalized the BC Hydro systems. In 1979, the province separated the transit authority into a separate agency called the Urban Transit Authority which was later renamed as BC Transit.
BC Transit carries out overall planning and delivery for all of the different municipal transit systems in British Columbia. In 1999, responsibility for the management of transportation in Greater Vancouver, including public transit, was taken over by TransLink. In the future, TransLink's jurisdiction is planned to expand into adjacent regions east and north of Greater Vancouver.
The Victoria Regional Transit System, in the provincial capital of Victoria, is the only system operated by BC Transit itself. In four locations (Nanaimo, Nelson, Powell River, and the Sunshine Coast) the municipality operates the service, while private operators are contracted to deliver the transit services elsewhere. Beyond Victoria, there are three levels of regular transit systems.